D850 images suddenly dark

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Let's assume the exposure compensation is the culprit. Ironically, I'm reasonably confident (but not certain) that resetting the camera to default settings would not change the exposure compensation value. Resetting should definitely affect whether Easy Exposure Compensation is enabled, whether the compensation value is displayed in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 stop, and whether a particular exposure compensation value is persistently set for a particular metering mode, in which case the exposure compensation will NOT be displayed in the viewfinder and LCDs. Those settings are configured using menu items; the standard exposure compensation value is set using a dial and a button and I don't think resetting the camera can change the settings that are configured using the dials.

By the way, if you ever wonder what the default menu settings are, Thom Hogan's Guide lists that information at least for his publication about the Z6 and Z7, and presumably for the D850. That list could come in handy if you're wondering what might have gone wrong and want to quickly survey a list of settings to see if some jump out at you as being suspicious. I don't know if the Nikon user's manual provides the same information.
 
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Butlerkid

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First, Welcome to NikonCafe! A VERY friendly place on the internet.

Here is how to post photos on NikonCafe.

You should also check the shutter speed setting in the Auto ISO setting in Shooting Menu. If the scene is dark such that the ISO hits the upper limit and the camera also hits the slowest shutter, the camera may under expose a scene.

Also, the size of the file should not be an issue unless your computer is very, very under powered.
 
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If the scene is dark such that the ISO hits the upper limit and the camera also hits the slowest shutter, the camera may under expose a scene.

I haven't eaten breakfast yet, so I may not be thinking anything through very clearly, but I don't think that's true in a typical situation. I suppose it theoretically could occur but only in a highly unusual situation in which the scene's proper exposure exceeds the camera's highest ISO capability, its lowest shutter speed capability and the largest aperture available on the lens.

Depending on the metering mode in affect at the time, if the camera hits the combination of Auto ISO limitations and cannot "properly" expose the scene, it will blow past those limitations to properly expose it. As an example, if the camera is in Aperture-Priority mode, if Auto ISO is enabled, if the maximum ISO is met, and if the minimum shutter speed is also met, the camera will automatically change the ISO to a higher value. If the highest ISO still doesn't allow the scene to be properly exposed, the camera will then automatically lower the shutter speed.
 
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And the word 'auto' also flashes continually in the viewfinder when auto iso is on. Is the continual flashing normal?

My previous post reminds me that earlier in the thread I gave you incorrect information about that flashing Auto ISO indicator. The correct information is that when Auto ISO is enabled, it will always be displayed in the viewfinder and LCDs. When the camera has automatically overridden at least one of the Auto ISO limitations, the Auto ISO indicator will also be flashing.

Now that I think this through a bit more, I realize that if you had configured a strongly negative exposure compensation value, doing so could have created the situation that would cause your camera to override an Auto ISO limitation. So, the flashing Auto ISO indicator makes me think that, indeed, your exposure compensation setting is a highly suspicious setting that should be checked.
 
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Late to the party, but if this is not yet completely worked out, just post an image.
What doesn’t make sense is you said you also tried manual settings, exposure comp will not effect manual settings. Take an image using the sunny 16 rule and if that isn’t close something is amiss.
99% of the time this type of issue is a setting somewhere.
We can get this.
Welcome to the cafe.
Gary
 

Butlerkid

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I haven't eaten breakfast yet, so I may not be thinking anything through very clearly, but I don't think that's true in a typical situation. I suppose it theoretically could occur but only in a highly unusual situation in which the scene's proper exposure exceeds the camera's highest ISO capability, its lowest shutter speed capability and the largest aperture available on the lens.

Depending on the metering mode in affect at the time, if the camera hits the combination of Auto ISO limitations and cannot "properly" expose the scene, it will blow past those limitations to properly expose it. As an example, if the camera is in Aperture-Priority mode, if Auto ISO is enabled, if the maximum ISO is met, and if the minimum shutter speed is also met, the camera will automatically change the ISO to a higher value. If the highest ISO still doesn't allow the scene to be properly exposed, the camera will then automatically lower the shutter speed.
Pages 347 and 348 of Steve Perry's Secrets to Auto Exposure book................
 

Butlerkid

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I don't have the book. I imagine that you and I understand how Auto ISO works and that any misunderstanding is caused by how we're explaining it. No need to go into it any further in my mind.
I use Auto ISO extensively in wildlife photography. It functions as I indicated in Post #22. Perhaps it works differently for you?
 

Butlerkid

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Late to the party, but if this is not yet completely worked out, just post an image.
What doesn’t make sense is you said you also tried manual settings, exposure comp will not effect manual settings. Take an image using the sunny 16 rule and if that isn’t close something is amiss.
99% of the time this type of issue is a setting somewhere.
We can get this.
Welcome to the cafe.
Gary
Using my D5 and D850, exposure compensation in conjunction with shooting manual with Auto ISO works fine. That is how I shoot wildlife. Exp Comp is a quick way to fine tune exposure..... See my PM

Page 441 of Steve Perry's Secrets to Exposure and Metering in Nikon Cameras.
 
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Perhaps it works differently for you?

I understood you to write that the Auto ISO limitations are not automatically overridden by the camera to achieve the desired exposure. If I understood you correctly, I recommend that you check out that detail and prove it to yourself. I just now set my camera to Aperture-Priority, to Auto ISO with maximum ISO 400 and minimum shutter speed 1/1000. The photo was captured at ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 4 seconds.

I use Auto ISO every time I shoot handheld. (I never use Auto ISO when I use a tripod.)

I wrote earlier that when using Aperture Priority, the maximum ISO is overridden first and that if that override is not sufficient, it will then override the minimum shutter speed. I thought I read that in either the user's manual or the Thom Hogan's Guide but might have misunderstood it. Notice that in my real-world situation explained above, the minimum shutter speed was overridden first, not the maximum ISO.
 

Butlerkid

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I understood you to write that the Auto ISO limitations are not automatically overridden by the camera to achieve the desired exposure. If I understood you correctly, I recommend that you check out that detail and prove it to yourself. I just now set my camera to Aperture-Priority, to Auto ISO with maximum ISO 400 and minimum shutter speed 1/1000. The photo was captured at ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 4 seconds.

I use Auto ISO every time I shoot handheld. (I never use Auto ISO when I use a tripod.)

I wrote earlier that when using Aperture Priority, the maximum ISO is overridden first and that if that override is not sufficient, it will then override the minimum shutter speed. I thought I read that in either the user's manual or the Thom Hogan's Guide but might have misunderstood it. Notice that in my real-world situation explained above, the minimum shutter speed was overridden first, not the maximum ISO.
Using Auto ISO in manual mode, the camera will adjust ISO only up to the max the user sets. It will not lower the shutter speed below the minimum shutter speed the user sets. That is how Auto ISO works.
 
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What doesn’t make sense is you said you also tried manual settings, exposure comp will not effect manual settings.

The OP also said that Auto ISO was enabled. When using Auto ISO and Manual metering mode, the exposure compensation setting will affect the ISO up to the maximum ISO that is configured in the Auto ISO settings. It will also affect the ISO down to the ISO setting set at the time for the camera.
 
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Using Auto ISO in manual mode...

I mentioned that I wasn't going to discuss this any longer but I think it's important to acknowledge that you are correct that when using Auto ISO and Manual metering mode, the configured limits will not be overridden. I and perhaps others would have appreciated it if you had explained that you later edited your post to mention Manual mode, as those limits are most definitely overridden when using either Shutter-Priority or Aperture-Priority modes.
 
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To the OP....

If you are new to photography and/or NIkon Cameras, I can't recommend highly enough two (inexpensive) books by Steve Perry. Steve also has numerous vidoeos that are extremely helpful...

Secrets to Exposure and Metering for Nikon

Secrets to the Nikon Autofocus System
Thank you so much! I corrected the darkness problem in my exposure comp settings. And believe that the "auto iso" flashing is what the camera is supposed to do under the conditions described by other members. So, whew! I will not be sending the camera in. Which is great, because I don't want to go a day without it! Thanks for the help and the opportunity to learn!
 
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The OP also said that Auto ISO was enabled. When using Auto ISO and Manual metering mode, the exposure compensation setting will affect the ISO up to the maximum ISO that is configured in the Auto ISO settings. It will also affect the ISO down to the ISO setting set at the time for the camera.
I only meant "manual" as it applied to iso. Sorry for the confusion.
 
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Thank you so much! I corrected the darkness problem in my exposure comp settings. And believe that the "auto iso" flashing is what the camera is supposed to do under the conditions described by other members. So, whew! I will not be sending the camera in. Which is great, because I don't want to go a day without it! Thanks for the help and the opportunity to learn!

Exposure compensation is a helpful but potentialy dangerous function.
If you set it, then forget to zero it out, your following shots could be royally messed up. :eek: Been there, done that. :(
Whenever I use the camera I "try" to remember to zero out the EC after the shoot. One of my tasks when I get home is to check that the EC = 0. I do same at the start of a shoot, in case I forgot to do it after the last shoot.
Add zeroing the EC to your post shoot check list.
 
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